n African Entomology - Life history of the threatened Karkloof blue butterfly, (Lepidoptera : Lycaenidae)

Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1021-3589



The behaviour and life history of the threatened Karkloof blue butterfly, (Butler) (Lepidoptera : Lycaenidae), were studied between 1997 and 1999. The butterfly is now known from four sites in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. is univoltine and on the wing in March and April, when it utilizes eight species of nectar plants. The oviposition plant is H. Bol. var. laxa H. Bol. (Fabaceae), an erect variety. This butterfly is ant-dependent, with the young larva being taken into the nest of (F. Smith) (Hymenoptera : Formicidae) where development continues, including pupation. Indications are that the critical factor limiting population levels is oviposition plant availability.

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